Summary: Angel returns to Sunnydale yet again (maybe I should get some new storylines)
Part of The Healing Series
Spoilers: Post S/I. None other than that.
Disclaimer: All rights reserved for Joss Whedon, the WB, Mutant Enemy, etc. I used the characters for my own personal enjoyment and that of others, not for profit. None of these characters belong to me. I have nothing, so don't expect much if you decide to sue. This story is my own creation, so rights to it belong to me. No copyright infringement intended. The song "Anytime" sung by Brian McKnight, is not mine. I in no way associate myself with him.
Distribution: Ask me. I'll say yes.
Feedback: Very welcomed. Criticisms also very welcomed.
Author's Notes: Anything inside asterisks (*), are song lyrics.
*****Do I ever cross your mind - anytime?
Do you ever wake up reaching out for me?
Do I ever cross your mind - anytime?
I miss you
No more loneliness and heartache
No more crying myself to sleep
No more wondering about tomorrow
(excerpt from "Anytime" by Brian McKnight)*****
I miss you.
The thought played like a broken record through his brain. Over and over and over again. Pain seared through him with the thought of her.
Upon being reunited with Angel, Giles had almost had a hernia. He threw a temper tantrum bigger than Buffy's wardrobe. Papers and books would litter his floor for days afterward. He had immediately forbidden Buffy to see Angel, and reasoning with him was not an option. Finally, after days of trying, Willow got through to him, and he conceded that Buffy and Angel could see each other, on one condition. That they spend six months apart, first. Then if they still wanted to get involved, so be it.
Angel had agreed to Giles' 'condition', causing Buffy to erupt, but he paid her little mind. He would do whatever it took to have Giles' approval, knowing how much Buffy respected the man.
Now, five months and twenty-five days into the separation, and Angel was as nervous as a lovesick teenager. He paced across his small basement apartment and back again. London WAS a lovely place, but he missed a certain someone with every fiber.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Angel tried to think positively. He had thought of nothing but Buffy since the day he left. He still recalled it with clarity.
The moon was only a sliver of silver. The streets of Sunnydale were oddly silent. A thunderstorm threatened from the horizon.
A volatile Slayer stalked down the street. She was dressed in a typical tank top and formfitting jeans. She did however have on a black leather jacket. She waved a piece of wood in one hand, seemingly talking to thin air.
"I can't believe you agreed to this stupid plan!" Silence answered her. This angered her more.
"You and your male ego thing. Trying to impress my Watcher. Well, I wasn't impressed!" The girl hunched her shoulders in her jacket.
"Will you stop hiding in the shadows and face me, already?!" She turned around and crossed her arms, standing in the center of the street. Her posture indicated irritation.
"I'm sorry, okay? I HAD to do it." A voice whispered from the shadows. A tall body stepped into view. A black t-shirt and black jeans complemented his buff figure. Brown eyes so deep you could fall into them bored into her blue ones.
"I know you did." Buffy took a tentative step toward him. He eyed the stake in her hand warily.
"I don't want to do it," Angel went on, moving closer to her.
"You know I have to." Only feet separated the pair.
"Yeah." A soft sigh escaped Buffy's lips. "Well, you know what they say: Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
Angel nodded, his eyes searching her face. She blinked back useless tears and reached out for him. He pulled her up against his chest and held her tightly. One soft kiss was all he allowed himself, and then he disappeared for what was to be the longest six months of his life. All two hundred plus years.
Angel finally grew restless of his pacing and flopped onto his bed. He popped right back up again and surged toward the phone. His fingers shook while he dialed the numbers. His reservations were made in minutes. He was going back again.
Her window was dark. He cautiously made his way to the sill, and peered in. She wasn't there. Probably patrolling. Angel's subconscious refused to cease its shouting. He jumped lightly from the roof and commenced wandering the streets of Sunnydale.
When he found himself at Willow's house, Angel noticed that her window was glowing. He let curiosity have it's way and ascended to her balcony. He peeked in the window and grinned to himself. Willow was hunched in front of her pc, her face dangerously close to the screen, typing away happily. Oblivious to the world. Or maybe not. He strained to hear her soft words.
"You can come in, you know," she muttered, without turning from her computer.
Angel's hand found the doorknob and he turned it ever so slowly. Willow swiveled in her chair.
"Hi, you! We've missed you!" she whispered excitedly.
"Willow, do you make it a practice of inviting men into your room. And leaving your door unlocked?!"
She smiled. "I knew it was you. I saw that you'd flown in this morning."
"You hacked into the airline's computer?!"
"I have been since I learned you were leaving. That way I'd be the first to know when you came back. You're four days early, by the way."
Angel shook his head in amazement. Willow had changed alot since he'd left. She seemed more confident, happier, even a little bit radiant.
"Willow...Are you and Oz...?" Angel let the question dangle there tantalizingly.
Willow blushed, but a sweet smile lit her face. "Maybe..."
Angel laughed quietly. "You amaze me, Miss Rosenburg." He paused. "Buffy?"
"She should be at home?" Angel was shaking his head by the time Willow finished speaking, and she trailed off in a question.
"Um, patrolling?" was her next guess.
"That's what I thought. Willow, be honest with me. Is she- well, does she still-" "Love you?" Angel's startled eyes flew to Willow's. Willow grinned sympathetically. "I'm not allowed to say. She specifically told me not to. But she doesn't have a boyfriend, hasn't dated since you left, moons around pretty much 24/7, and has worn your jacket in 100 degree weather."
Angel felt relief wash over him. He gave Willow a friendly hug and 'did that thing' where he was gone.
He was on his way back to his apartment when he felt that same thrill that he always felt upon being near the Slayer. He stopped in his tracks and slowly turned in all directions, scouring every inch with his eyes. He honed in on her presence and located her leaning casually against a storefront.
"Hey, there, Handsome," Buffy greeted lazily. She winked. "About time you got back."
Angel approached her slowly. "You didn't forget me, then?"
Buffy pushed away from the wall and stuffed her hands in her jacket pockets. "Nah. I figured you were worth the wait. Was I right?"
Angel nodded, examining her in the light from a nearby lamppost. Her face was a bit thinner, her eyes deeper than he remembered. But her set jaw was definately the same. "I missed you," Angel whispered.
She proceeded to throw herself at him. Wrapping her arms around his shoulders, she placed an overly enthusiastic kiss on his lips. "I missed you, too."
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